Depending on which side of the pond you call home, you’re either just days away from Season Three of Downton Abbey or you’ve got to wait until January. I am in the latter group and take consolation in having The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook so I can at least eat like the Crawleys while I await their return.
There is no way I will ever cook a seven course meal for ten people, but I can definitely manage a course or two from those included in this cookbook. That said, the first seven chapters are each devoted to a different course so if you’re feeling ambitious, then you can channel your inner Mrs. Patmore and cook a veritable feast.
The recipes represent foods that would have been popular at the time. These aren’t common, everyday recipes. Instead you have things like Saxe-Coburg Soup, Filet Mignon with Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce, and Pommes de Terre Sarladaise.
Don’t let the fancy names intimidate you. These are still recipes that you’ll be able to manage thanks to well-written directions with plenty of details about each step of the process. Each recipe also includes a paragraph that gives it context within the Downton Abbey world to explain its inclusion in the book.
I was very happy to see there is a chapter devoted to tea time. It includes recipes for classics like cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream as well as some more directly inspired by the show. You can try Mrs. Patmore’s Madeira Pound Cake or Anna Bates’s Chocolate Crumpets.
For those times when you’re looking to mingle with the staff, there’s a chapter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as the servants would have enjoyed. These recipes are far less fancy and include less expensive ingredients yet still manage to reflect the tastes of the time.
Get your copy of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook ($21.95) now and by the time the series returns in January you’ll be able to host a premiere party that would impress even the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
I received a copy of this book for review.